06/06/2013 Newsnight Scotland


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Deputy First Minister tells us that independence will improve our


relationship with the rest of the UK. We will find out how the Irish


and the Scandinavians get on with their neighbours. And behind the


scenes at the Explorers Club. A love that some objects that tell the


story of a Scottish search for knowledge in all corners of the


globe. Good evening. How might a postindependence Scotland get on


with the rest of the UK? Nationalist politicians have been keen to


suggest that the relationship would improve when we are no longer bound


together by a political system. In a speech this evening, the Deputy


First Minister proposed the British -Irish Council and the Nordic


Council as models for how we might be able to work together. In a


moment, we will be discussing how the Irish and Scandinavians get on


with their neighbours. First, Keays Andrew Black.


Tonight 's lecture, a lesson on being friends. Speaking at a


university event, Nicola Sturgeon said that under Scottish


independence, relations with the rest of the UK, far from being


ended, would see a healthy improvement. The fact is,


independence has never been, and never will be, about walking away.


Independence is about taking responsibility and working together.


Working together with other nations in the United Nations, in NATO, the


European Union, the British Irish Council and in many other


organisations. But, crucially, it is about working together as an equal


partner, rather than as a member of a union where one nation's interest


's, by nature of its size, are always likely to be prevailing.


also said that the relationship would mean that Scotland would not


have to go along with Westminster decisions like controversial welfare


reforms. She reinforced her argument by borrowing one of her opponent was


go key slogans. Scotland and the rest of the UK would stand on our


own two feet, taking our own decisions and working together on


issues of common interest. A relationship would be what it should


always have been, a partnership of equals. Powers in Scotland and an


equal relationship with friends and neighbours. That really would be the


best of both worlds. Talking about the referendum leading towards a


slippery slope... Nicola Sturgeon, who took questions from the


audience, said that the British Irish Council could serve as a


template for the new relationship, modelled on the Nordic Council,


which brings together the Scandinavian countries. But the


SNP's opponents say there is already a strong model for co-operation,


called the UK. Is this latest move, along with plans to keep the pound,


a soft sell on independence? Independence is about completing the


powers of the Scottish Parliament, finishing the devolution journey


that we started, making sure we have the powers to build the kind of


country we want to be, rather than the situation that we have at the


moment, where key areas of life are decided upon at Westminster and


decisions are taken that the majority of Scottish MPs vote


against, like the bedroom tax. But these things go ahead anyway.


speech that she was delivering here is central to the case for


independence. The SNP wants to make the case for full powers of


Scotland, also persuading voters that the rest of the UK will still


be close by. I am joined from Westminster by the


London correspondent of the Irish Times, Mark Hennessy, and from


Aberdeen by Dr Anders Widfeldt of the Nordic policy Centre at Aberdeen


University. Nicola Sturgeon is talking about the British Irish


Council, the Nordic Council, as templates for our relationship with


the rest of the UK. How is the British-Irish Council viewed from


the other side of the Irish Sea? is a question of God help us, if


that is what Nicola Sturgeon is talking about. The British-Irish


Council, whilst it has been a useful platform to allow full editions to


get to know each other, there is a lack of political momentum and


impetus behind it. The debate creature that has never developed in


the way that maybe some of the more ambitious people at the beginning


would have thought. I am not entirely sure what she means by


getting on. At the end of the day, relations between countries are


going to be decided by strategic interests. Relations between Ireland


and the UK were poisonous for decades. But that was largely


because of the whole issue of Northern Ireland. So this would not


be used to iron out any political differences between Dublin and


London? It could, but not in its current form. As of now, it is a


pretty minor figure on the stage. There is no reason to say that it


could not become more significant after Scottish independence. That


would require everybody involved, not just Edinburgh and London, but


also Dublin, Belfast, the Isle of Man and the other dependencies,


equally to get involved and to be prepared to put a political impetus


behind operations that does not exist at the moment. Dr Anders


Widfeldt how would you sum up the workings of the Nordic Council?


similar to the experience that has been related. After participating, I


was struggling to remember what the Nordic Council does. I had to look


at up on the internet, which is saying something, because I do teach


Nordic Latics. Is their rivalry between the nations in Scandinavia?


The Swedish and Finland ice hockey game is comparable to an English and


Germany football match, there is banter that sometimes gets out of


hand, of course. Some on the pro union order checks between Scotland


and England, something that is dismissed by those on the side of


independence. One of the achievements from Nordic cooperation


is the 1950s when free travel for citizens was introduced, freedom of


movement and labour. That is still the case. But this is also becoming


an issue, relationships in Denmark, where Sweden could be a transit


country. That is becoming a bowl of contention. Our sport free passage


was introduced in the early 50s. blog says that an independent


Scotland would drift from the UK. Rory Stewart says that history from


other countries teaches us that. What can the Irish example teachers


on that front? The Irish example is a special one, you're talking about


an agrarian economy that became dependent on immigration, getting


rid of its people for many years. So many of them came to Britain during


the 1950s and 60s, and in the 80s, and we have seen a new wave in more


recent years. It does display may be a willingness on the part of the


Irish to travel for work. That has created a situation where there are


very strong ties between Ireland and parts of Britain. To argue that


there is a genuine connection between the two peoples is perhaps


pushing it. A lot of the time, with the English, you will get a degree


of benign condescension, perhaps. It is all terribly friendly, but it is


not necessarily a relationship of equals. It is one that could be


improved a lot more if you did actually have a greater number of


Irish and British people meeting each other in their respective


countries. If you look at the tourism figures, they are not what


they should be, on either side of the Irish Sea. Dr Anders Widfeldt,


given that the Scandinavian countries are not a unitary group,


when it comes to detail, there is not even a common language, what


keeps them socially together? has been an ideology of Scandinavian


-ism which can be dated back to the 19th-century, but that was largely


Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and Finland is distinctive because of


language issues but also because of history. In fact, the Nordic


experience is very different to Britain. For example, the World War


II and cold war experiences were very different and the countries


were split up into very different configurations and had very


different experiences in World War II. A cabinet minister at


Westminster says there could be a brain drain if Scotland becomes


independent. That is something that I has to contend with. Are there


lessons that Scotland could learn from Ireland? They would have to


make a deliberate effort to keep the best and brightest at home, and that


would at best require a particular structure of research and


development and taxation, but I'm sure the Scottish Government has


already thought of many of those kinds of ideas. But is the brain


drain and effect of globalisation, economics? You could ask yourself


how many Scots are travelling south to London at the moment. The figures


are significant art they are not comparison with the figures -- but


they are nowhere near comparator with the figures from Ireland. The


brain drain has gone to Canada and Australia and the United States,


English-speaking countries, but not Britain. That in itself is perhaps a


reflection of the changing nature of the relationship between the two


islands. Many of the young people in the city are doing terrifically well


and enjoying the experience and if you look at a tear lower than that,


they are here because they lack of work but they have enjoyed the


experience that they have had even if it is not one would have


necessarily volunteered for. Let me thank you for your time.


That is the view of two gentlemen not from Scotland. Even Burns saw


there was a value in seeing ourselves as others see us. Let us


have another look at what others are getting up to. The Royal Scottish


Geographical Society has been specialising in that since 1884.


David Livingstone'sdaughter helped found it, Scott and Shackleton


participated and the Scottish exploring tradition is still


supported by. The headquarters in Perth hold a treasure trove of


expedition and a survey records. It surveys the life and work of


those who mapped our planet and beyond. Some, like David


Livingstone, are household names. Others less so. This is the Royal


Scottish Geographical Society of Scotland. This book records those it


has honoured over the years. Every other page turns up another gem.


This is, I think, one of the moments in our history which encapsulates


society. Robert Falk and Scott -- Falklands Scott. This is an event


when we hosted a dinner hosted by the king when Robert Scott was


awarded one of our most significant medals. He was the leading Antarctic


polar explorer from England and the leading polar scientist from


Scotland and the whole event was organised by Shackleton, because he


did my job in 1904-05. It was a real coming together, a moment in


history. The society is run by full-time staff and volunteers. Each


has their favourite object from the collection. You are looking at


something with tremendous political resonance. We are looking at a map


of 1714 and we are looking just five years after the union of the


Parliaments, so the title is buried astutely the north part of Great


Britain, not Scotland, the north part of Great Britain. And as you


will also realise, it is exactly 300 years before the vote in next year,


so it is a rather historical document with a modern resonance.


From one map to 22,001 maps produced in the 1930s, from which came the


land utilisation map of Great Britain. It involved a school


children, students and nuns. Sir Dudley kept his eye on them.


persuaded his wife to get driving lessons and he drove around the


area, he was rather large of girth, and he stood on this platform that


he had instructed on the passenger seat and he poked his head and the


rest of him through the actual sunroof and he drove slowly down the


country lanes. The other person, his number two, was this chap. His wife


drove the motorbike and he stood up on the site care -- Sidecar and he


transcribed maps to the correct scale by these ladies, a team from


the London School of economics. They discovered, or they reminded


themselves, of the reliance on imported food from abroad and


suddenly there was a great demand from these maps, and so we can argue


that Churchill's idea that we shall fight them in the field, it was


people in the field growing a lot more in the way of crops, this was


an essential part of feeding Britain and I think something like 2 million


acres of land were given over to arable production. The society was


formed as Arctic exploration was beginning and it tells the story of


Henry good sir who left on an early expedition. This was his last letter


back before the expedition went beyond means of Camino cage on. --


communication. The letter is to his brother John. We have been lying


here eight days and in that time have adopted the vocabulary and


peculiarities of the natives, we have assessed the geography of the


island, which is there a simple and the ice up on them is a very


interesting subject and prominently marked and also contains specimens


of the vertebrate as well as the invertebrate animals. You can see


the enthusiasm of a young naturalist explorer and this makes his loss


with the rest of the Franklin expedition loss all the more tragic.


But here we have a tremendous insight into what is going on, not


at the command level but at the junior level. Expeditions have come


a long way in the 133 years since the start of the society.


Just two front pages before we go. The Herald says an attack on benefit


reform, the Scotsman once that half of Scots will get cancer putting


stress on the NHS. That is all from us. Good night. We reached 25


degrees today. Not the same low cloud that we are seen. The cloud


coming in from the south could give us one or two showers. Many places


will have a dry day with a lot of sunshine. It will stay dry in


Northern Ireland. These are showers over the Scottish mountains, vary


few and far between. It will be warm for this time of year. Sunny spells


across much of northern England and the Midlands. A little cloud coming


in from the south, a stronger breeze as well. Some spots of rain in the


Southeast, something a little livelier later in Cornwall. Thunder


is possible, but a very hit and miss. Wales should stay dry with


temperatures typically around 22 degrees. It will be cooler around


the North Sea coast. Heading into the weekend and there will be no


major surprises, we will see a little bit more cloud around eastern


parts of England and Scotland but most places are bright and warm and


sunny. Temperatures over the weekend are not quite as high as we are


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